With Crufts just around the corner, we caught up with our in-house dog show experts, Tina and Steve, to find out their top tips for surviving the marvellous chaos that is Crufts.
Steve’s top tips for exhibitors –
Fabulous Footwear – ‘I would advise anyone to take a spare pair of shoes. The floors are so unforgiving on the feet, so changing shoes certainly helps. Don’t wear shoes with leather soles. The famous green carpets are actually cheap nylon and are so slippery. Nobody wants to slip and fall in front of the huge crowds and possibly cause injury to your dog
Stay Hydrated – ‘If you’re taking a dog to exhibit, make sure to pack a water bowl and take water with you. The only water available in this venue, is from the basins in the toilets, and I wouldn’t want my dogs to drink that. I always take water from home which the dogs are used to ensure there are no upset tummies from the excitement and change in water.’
Know Your Routes – ‘If you have entered, you will receive an envelope of information about manufacturers that are exhibiting at Crufts. Take this with you, as they will all have the hall and location on them. With the huge crowds it is hard to navigate the halls if you don’t know where you are heading. Locate your ring and entrance before you arrive, as navigating the halls with dogs and trolleys in tow verges on the impossible’
Dress to Impress – Smart and practical. Whatever you wear in the ring it’s a good idea for women to do the bend test beforehand (to make sure nothing top or bottom is on display that you’d not want to display) and that you can move comfortably (particularly in breeds where you need to run- a tight skirt or trousers just won’t work).
Avoid the Rush – ‘Dogs can’t leave before 4pm, so make sure you have suitable provisions for the day. It can be really busy leaving at 4pm, so it’s worth hanging back and leaving a little later if you can.
Tina’s top tips for visitors –
Think Feet – Comfortable footwear whether your showing or exhibiting is a must – the floors are unforgiving, and you’ll do lots of walking throughout the day. Quite a few people opt for Sketchers or similar memory foam shoes.
Look But don’t Touch – Don’t touch any dog without getting the owner’s permission. Some dogs get very anxious with the noise and crowds and their natural reaction could be one that you wouldn’t expect. With the highly presented breeds …don’t think of touching them or you are liable to have strong words with the owner after they have spent hours getting them ready for their 10 mins in the big rings.
Dress Code – Think comfort. There is no dress code for Crufts, so go for comfort and layers. The temperature varies in each hall, and the crowds can ramp up the temperature.
H20 – Drink plenty of water / liquids while you’re there. The air conditioning is usually on constantly because of the crowds and the number of dogs and this can give you a bad headache if you’re not hydrated. Nobody would enjoy a day there with a headache.
Hangry? – Food stands are limited and can be very busy and expensive. Taking snacks and perhaps a flask is a great idea.
Shop ‘til You Drop – If you’re planning to take advantage of the fabulous stalls selling products at Crufts, be sure to take a trolley. There are lots of weird and wonderful brands available, and you will be sure to buy a few bits and bobs. Circle the stalls you want to visit before arriving, this way you won’t miss out on any potential purchases.
Toilet Break – The toilets tend to have long ques, so don’t leave it until the last minute to find facilities. It may be worth circling a few toilets on your map before arriving.
Cash – ‘Always remember to save some cash for the car park fee on the way out. Not all of the payment booths take debit cards.
Most of all… make sure you enjoy it. It’s the world’s largest dog show and a showcase for a wonderful hobby and all things dog.
If you are a Buddies Breeder showing at Crufts, we would love to hear from you. Drop us an email at Hello@Buddies.co.uk.